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Identification of growth factors for small firms: evidence from hotel companies on an island

Senem Yazici (Department of Hospitality Management, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University, Muğla, Turkey)
Mehmet Ali Köseoglu (School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong)
Fevzi Okumus (College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida Rosen, Orlando, Florida, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 3 October 2016




The purpose of this paper is to mainly investigate what factors drive growth for independent hotel firms on an island.


Two steps were followed. First, to identify hotels demonstrated significant growth; 92 independent hotels in North Cyprus were analyzed via a self-report questionnaire. Second, key growth factors were examined in five hotels showing the growth over years among the independent hotels via in-depth, semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, and observations.


The study findings revealed 16 important growth factors for hotels, including active risk taking, education, family history, networks of contacts, other business interests, family investing friends, key employee partners, customer concentration, autonomy, innovativeness, proactiveness, competitive aggressiveness, location, desire to succeed, age of founders, and state support where are strong, weak, and interrelated relationships among these factors. These findings allow factors to be categorized into new groups, namely, strategic and tactical factors. The research findings unveil new factors referred to as “political conflict – pursuing different strategy and opportunities,” importance of second generations affect and entrepreneur’s metacognitive strategies, “informal networking.”

Research limitations/implications

More research should also be undertaken for entrepreneurs or managers who formulate and implement strategies to enter new markets or to tackle turbulent and/or unstable environments.

Practical implications

This study reveals that one factor on its own cannot influence the growth of hotels. Rather, successful growth depends on the entrepreneur’s ability to combine all factors in harmony.


Given that there is limited empirical evidence on the growth of independent hotels on islands, this study made an important attempt to contribute to the entrepreneurship literature in the hospitality management and family business fields via micro-level approaches concerning the factors influencing hotels’ growth on an island. This is one of the first studies presenting and discussing empirical findings on growth factors for small hotels on an island, and brings a new perspective by grouping factors as strategic and tactical factors.



Yazici, S., Köseoglu, M.A. and Okumus, F. (2016), "Identification of growth factors for small firms: evidence from hotel companies on an island", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 994-1029.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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